Today the briefs of the Brown family arrived at the Denver courthouse in the Sister Wives case now before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. (The actual electronic filing was made the night before under the federal ECF system). I continue to serve as lead counsel to the Brown family in their successful challenge of the criminalization of polygamy in Utah. Last year, United States District Court Judge Clarke Waddoups issued the final decision striking down the cohabitation crime used against polygamist in Utah. The State has appealed to the federal court of appeals in Denver and below is our defense of that decision by Judge Waddoups. I want to thank my friend and local counsel (and GW Alum) Adam Alba and all of the students who have worked so hard on this case over the years. This brief benefited from the assistance of Patrick Fenior and Emily Hoyle as well as assistance from GW grad (and my local counsel in the Al-Timimi case) Thomas Huff and my assistant Seth Tate.
We will let the brief speak for itself, but we are eager to present our case in oral argument before the Tenth Circuit. District Court Judge Waddoups made our task all the easier with a brilliant and powerful opinion (discussed and attached here) in defense of the rights of privacy, religious freedom, and due process. (and here) Defending his opinion before the Tenth Circuit is great privilege as is the representation of the Brown family, which has shown tremendous patience and grace throughout this long litigation. While we remain surprised by Utah’s effort to curtail the religious freedom and due process rights protected under the decision, we remain both confident in our position and committed to this case. It is a great honor to defend these constitutional rights and we are prepared to do so as far and as long as it takes to prevail in the litigation.
We waited to post the brief until after we confirmed receipt today. The final version is linked below.
We do not currently have a date for oral argument but I will post the date when it is available. The government has 14 days to file an optional response with the Court.